Musik med Mats (music with Mats)

Mats is my bass teacher. He's very Swedish and very much a bass player. He's tall and reserved (common of Swedes) with a beard like a viking (or ZZ Top). He's really good with soloing on the bass and seems to have a beat drilled into him.

My dad came up with Mats' name by asking a friend who asked a relative who asked Mats if he'd be willing to teach bass lessons to me for the year. Mats showed up, having walked over from the Royal Music Academy where he's a student.

So far, lessons with Mats are very fun- more of an incentive to play because I'm learning cool bass lines. Take on Me. Another One Bite's the Dust. Beat It. King of the Road. Stand By Me. Summertime. Come Together.

Each lesson has been 45 minutes long with Mats asking me what I want to do along with working on suggestions I might have made the week before. We normally figure out a song, then one of us plays the beat and the other the melody-- taking turns soloing. Occasionally my dad joins us playing his mandolin. Other times, we just work on the bass line.  We go through 2-3 songs a week and sometimes play the favorite songs in other weeks- Take on Me, Stand By Me. Some days we go longer than 45 minutes- most are at least 15 minutes longer, but one day we were like 45 minutes longer.

I'm also learning music in school as a required course. It's more general- learning note names, intervals and other basics. We did "presentations" of cover songs; our group figured out how to play "All of Me"by John Legend-- ok song but not enough bass line for me! I was able to practice my bass while we were choosing songs. I also play with my friends Douglas and Alex during lunch -- we can go into the music room and just play around. Douglas plays the piano and Alex plays the guitar.

Another memorable night with Mats was a Friday night a while ago. Mats invited us to a concert at "Larry's Corner," a very small musicky place. The band he was playing with was self described as "free jazz/noise rock/krout/ experimental/no wave/punk jazz/I don't know"-- for a band called "Eye Make the Horizon"... band members to the right with Mats pictured in the upper right. Full beard not shown.

This was the 2nd loudest experience of my life (behind Uncle Bob's Snarky Puppy concert, explained in another blog). The room was really small and the amps were really big. The room was as crowded as it possibly could be- each person had about a square foot of space, if that.

The music itself was, well, hard to describe. Lots of percussion. Riffs on bass, guitar. Noise making. My dad attempted to take a clip- see the movie below. You can decide for yourself how'd you describe this.

We went out for a "drink" afterwards.

All in all, I've been enjoying doing music with Mats and jam sessions with my dad. We're working on potential songs for a family band... not too far along yet.

hej då for now!